Brenda & Jeff…their story is on TBA…
I go to every Coaching Session with the bags full of hope that I can get my client to see what they are missing….what they didn’t see matters. All of this can help to save their marriage.
It’s rare that I ever feel someone can’t change the downward spiral of a marriage unless there is beating or other harm being done. Anything is possible. Hope is my mission.
This couple? Brenda & Jeff? I felt a tinge of dread midway and, try as I might, hope seemed slim.
They were married 20 years…together for 24.
Then one day Brenda & Jeff’s teen daughter (Stephanie) caught her dad having an affair and threatened him that if he didn’t break it off immediately, she would have to tell her mom, Brenda.
Although Jeff begged her not to say anything and promised to break up with the girl, Jeff did not break it off….instead he went deeper.
Very soon Stephanie discovered the affair was still going on, she went back to her dad and said, it was over, she was telling her mom if he didn’t. He did. Jeff immediately went to Brenda and told her he was in love with another woman and that he was leaving her for what he called was his soul mate. Of course this was 20 minutes after they confirmed a family cruise for the following year.
As Stephanie said, “My entire world changed in 30 minutes…”
Then over the next 3 months a flow (let me say “FLOOD”) of people came out of nowhere to share with the the infidelities they had witnessed between her husband and many other women. Brenda told me at one point she had to tell people to stop. Enough. She just couldn’t take another story of betrayal. She’d been living a lie. And her husband? After I did the math, he was a male slut for 18 out of their 20 years married. As far as we knew! Gulp.
Brenda was blindsided. Completely thrown from the fun, easy, nice life she’d been living into a field of dead weeds in the middle of nowhere. What was she to do now? The man she’d loved for over 24 years was a fraud. He was not to be trusted. Ever. And lies continued to spew from his mouth and even the sound of his voice made her want to vomit.
It’s pain and it’s torture.
In talking to many many women who have been though this and my own personal experience….it clearly is THE most painful thing a person can ever go through. Someone described it as a ‘death’ only the person who you are mourning is alive and well and quite happy fucking up your life to start a new one without you.
If you lay them side by side… “a child dying” over “a man or woman leaving their spouse,” isn’t even comparable. A child dying is the worst thing any human can experience. But the pain of both is so intense and so terribly disgusting that a cheating spouse comes in at a close 2nd.
It’s the Loss. The Loss. The Loss. Future dreams are obliterated and breathing is a torturous task.
If you are in a position where you are thinking of leaving. Don’t do it before you are sure. And don’t do it before you have a conversation about what you want from your partner and what you want to give and haven’t been giving.
In the case of Brenda and Jeff…he wants to marry this new woman and have babies with her. Brenda is sick. The girlfriend is a mere child. 30 years his jr.
I gave her the best advice I’ve heard: Stay steady. Stay consistent with your values of right and wrong and above all, get ready for an implosion. What does that mean? Jeff will not be lasting with this new girl. They have nothing in common, they barely can speak the same language and given his track record of keeping faithful, he will soon be on the prowl and this new girl won’t like it either.
To Brenda I said, “I know it sucks, but if he comes around and is willing to change, meaning you are able to lock him to the fence and he is never allowed to travel without you, then maybe, just maybe you can find a way back.